Robert Wood is the Studio Director at BFX in Boston. He teaches the Fusion Ride and BUILD classes as well as privately trains BFC clients.
1.) Tell us about a turning point in your life that led you to become an instructor.
After college I spent years working for my uncle, who owned three liquor stores. A friend from college stopped by and told me about his role with Boston Sports Clubs as a personal trainer and manager. I knew then it was time for a change and turn a passion for fitness into a career. Thirteen years later, it was the best decision I could have ever made.
2.) How have you changed as an instructor over time?
When I first started teaching, it was all about motivating and getting sweaty with the clients. Now I have a better coach’s eye and not only can motivate, but can also help you improve and progress your movements during a class.
3.) How do you motivate your clients to work hard?
Clients work hard when you connect with them. You have to acknowledge the effort when they are putting in, and pick them up with cues when they are slowing down. But it has to be sincere and not just yelling over the mic. The mute button is your friend when praising and correcting, as it becomes much more personal.
4.) What is one thing you wish everyone knew before they came into class?
People need to know they come to class for fun. Yes, it’s to work out, but if you don’t have fun then you won’t keep doing it.
5.) How do you balance promoting your own brand and supporting the studio where you teach?
I’m a total novice with social media, so I wouldn’t say I have my own “brand.” Over the years, I’ve built a great network of clients and fitness professionals who want to work with me because they know “me,” not an online persona. BFX has given me a place to call home, and my brand is just as much a part of their brand—and vice versa.
6.) We know family is very important to you. What is your secret weapon for keeping your priorities straight and making sure there’s time for everyone and everything in your life?
I’ve learned to use every hour of the day. I’m up at 5 a.m. most days, whether it’s to teach, train or get my own workouts in. I plan each day with priorities for both work and family and make sure to get to sleep by 10:15 p.m. to rest up for the next day. Well, that and coffee help me balance things day to day!
7.) Give us one healthy habit you swear by.
Set a goal and have a plan. Most people have a goal to lose weight, but that’s generic. Set a target, build a plan with a timeline, and don’t let things get in the way. I have a workout schedule each week, with planned workouts focused on a specific goal of training. Right now, it’s preparing for the Spartan Beast in Vermont this September. It’s a 12-mile obstacle course in the mountains!